Nestlé SA-owned Nespresso USA Inc. on May 9 filed a lawsuit against Williams-Sonoma Inc. for alleged trademark infringement.
Nespresso is accusing Williams-Sonoma, a specialty retailer of home furnishings and gourmet cookware, of violating its Nespresso trademark and misleading consumers into believing the latter's products are affiliated, licensed by or connected to Nespresso.
The coffee-machine business said in the court filing that Williams-Sonoma made and sold coffee capsules for Nespresso coffeemakers that used words and color-and-flavor combinations identical to Nespresso-branded coffee capsules.
The California-based retailer allegedly also misled consumers into believing it was licensed by or affiliated with Nestlé by placing its own-brand capsules next to Nespresso machines without a nonaffiliation disclaimer. Williams-Sonoma "[buries] a disclaimer in small, inconspicuous wording at the bottom of its website," Nespresso said.
According to the filing, Nespresso approached Williams-Sonoma before taking the case to court, but the latter allegedly refused to stop its trademark-infringing activities.
Nespresso is filing charges against Williams-Sonoma for trademark and trade-dress infringement, unfair competition, dilution and false advertising. It is demanding the destruction of the trademark-infringing products and a ban that would prevent Williams-Sonoma from using Nespresso trademarks.
Nespresso declined to provide additional comments, while Williams-Sonoma did not immediately respond to requests for comment from S&P Global Market Intelligence.